While ads and social media strategies may do a great job boosting your brand, but they aren’t enough to close deals. As freelancers, finding the work is most of the work. That’s why many small businesses and freelancers create a digital marketing lead generation funnel that charts out how you will approach prospective clients as they become more aware of your brand. An effective funnel can maximise lead retention and help you close more sales. 

A funnel – or upside down pyramid or triangle – is essentially a systematic process to capture interest in a product or service, so you can build a sales pipeline. It’s a step by step process to lead networking to real work.

The five elements that make up the lead funnel are the following;

Brand awareness is essential. Marketing efforts at this stage aim to grab people’s attention, with methods like search engine optimization, paid advertising, and content marketing.

Interest and Communication
This is where your leads will move into interest and consideration. 

To engage with them here, you should offer consistent, useful informational content like ebooks, white papers, and case studies through your email marketing.

This audience has already shown interest in your business and services, but they might just need more information or education. You should also include your scheduling link in your emails so you can speak directly to your leads and potentially move them further into the funnel.

The people at this point have become leads who have a strong relationship with you. They trust your company and need one last push to make a purchasing decision. Marketing decisions at this stage include content like; 

  • Trial extensions
  • Demos
  • Consultations
  • Discount offers

From there, you can convert your leads into paying clients, deliver a successful project, and turn them into long-term brand advocates!

Another crucial way to attract clients in the first place is to have a great portfolio with stellar content. Try to tailor the content to your target audience. For instance, if you’re trying to reach creative audiences, a short video on your social media platforms will be more effective than a blog post with the same information.

This step can be difficult, because there is so much content online already. You can try these strategies to make your content more effective:

  • Research competitors: Check how competitors’ content has performed, taking note of what has worked and what hasn’t, such as content type, topics, and keywords. If your research reveals topics that your competitors haven’t adequately addressed yet, you can also create content that fills these gaps.
  • Optimise for SEO: The best way to make your content reach more people is by improving its search engine rankings. Elements like header tags, internal links, and organic keywords will help people organically discover your brand while looking for answers to their questions.
  • Create content for each funnel stage: To ensure leads proceed through your funnel, you need to make content for each of the stages of the funnel. TOFU content should build awareness, MOFU content should give leads valuable information to deepen your relationship, and BOFU content should offer a final push that gets them to make a purchase.

If you’re an independent business owner, you can start creating your funnel by mapping out your clientflow and thinking through the research phase that your potential clients would use to find you. 

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